Spanking A Bifurcated Girl

When I blogged about Jillian Keenan’s spanking article in Salon, I also noted with interest that Salon used this public-domain spanking image to catch the eye at the head of the article:


Slate captioned it “From Vanity Fair’s “Bifurcated Girls” special issue, June 6, 1903.” My spanko spidey-sense immediately began to tingle; I make a minor hobby of chasing down vintage pop-cultural spanking references in order to see whether there’s more spanko goodness to be found. And sure enough, my efforts were rewarded. Although I wasn’t able to locate a full scan of that magazine in the Internet Archive or elsewhere, I’m fairly sure I turned up the web resource that Salon’s editorial people used to source the image. It’s a page at The Public Domain Review packaging and providing context for some selected scans to be found in the Wikimedia Commons, and there we learn a number of interesting things.

Not the same Vanity Fair of current fame, this was a version published by The Commonwealth Publishing Company of New York City, incorporated in February 1902 but which went bankrupt in April 1904.

Dian Hansen in the first volume of her History of Men’s Magazines (Taschen, 2004) discusses the “Bifurcated Girls” special issue and argues that this particular incarnation of Vanity Fair can be seen as the origin of the American girlie magazine:

While France had a well-established men’s magazine industry by 1900, America was just showing its ankles in 1903. A magazine called Vanity Fair (unrelated to the current incarnation) was the raciest thing around, and rooming house floozies the hotties of the time. In this New York, tabloid girls who drank like men might strip down to their petticoats and fall into bed together, exposing their corset cover and stockings to peeping male boarders. The famously loose morals of stage actresses made them popular subjects for these shenanigans, but the biggest thrill of all was bifurcation. “What?” one may well ask. Bifurcation, meaning “split in two”, referred to the contours of a woman’s legs revealed by her donning men’s trousers. Bifurcation was a regular and very popular feature in Vanity Fair, it’s popularity leading to Vanity Fair’s Bifurcated Girls.

But you all want to know: was there another spanking photograph? There was! And some supporting prose, too:


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Eric Stanton Yardstick Spanking


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Oh, To Be Francus’s Spanking Wench

In Julian Keenan’s recent spanking article in Slate, she linked to a scholarly article about the 1599 whipping epigram In Francum:

When Francus comes to sollace with his whoore
He sends for rods and strips himselfe stark naked:
For his lust sleepes, and will not rise before,
By whipping of the wench it be awaked.
I envie him not, but wish I had the powre,
To make my selfe his wench but one halfe houre.

I’d seen the epigram before, but not this analysis, which makes it even more interesting and complex:

The concluding moment of identification is less straightforward than it might appear, for, as Ian Frederick Moulton argues, the phrase “whipping of the wench” could refer to either Francus whipping the wench or the wench whipping Francus in order to arouse him. Since the epigram’s speaker wants to be the wench, it is unclear whether he wants to be beaten by or to beat Francus himself.

Also, are we sure that the speaker who wants to beat or be beaten is a “he”? I am not enough of a scholar of epigrams to know whether that’s a casual assumption or a well-established literary fact.

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Bound And Spanked At The Card Shop

Kinky Delight caption on this photograph speculates that this is a shoplifting attempt that’s ending badly for our sticky-fingered heroine:


Picture credit: Public Disgrace.

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Spanking Is A Sex Act

It’s been axiomatic to me for as long as I have run Spanking Blog that spanking (at least the kind I’m interested in) has everything to do with consenting adult sexuality and nothing to do with child-raising. Which is why I agree with just about every word in Jillian Keenan’s new brave article in Slate. Keenan, who is famously out and proud about her spanking fetish, writes: Spanking Is Great for Sex (Which is why it’s grotesque for parenting.)

Keenan’s thesis paragraph, which she defends at length:

I realize that many well-meaning parents will disagree with me, but spanking kids is gross. There are a lot of reasons why—it’s counterproductive and ineffective, for starters—but there’s another reason that nobody talks about. Butts are sexual. That’s why the area is one of the few “private” parts that, along with breasts and genitals, we feel the need to cover with a swimsuit. If a parent saw a teacher patting a child’s shoulder, it’d be no big deal. But if a parent saw a teacher patting a child’s butt, she would (rightly) be very alarmed.

Readers of Spanking Blog may also enjoy Keenan’s citations with regard to the history of spanking as a sexual practice:

Spanking is a sex act. It has been for a very long time—probably even longer than it’s been a parenting choice. A fresco at the Etruscan Tomb of the Whipping, which dates back to approximately 490 B.C., depicts an erotic spanking. In Francum, a 1599 epigram by John Davies, includes one of the most explicit descriptions of sexual masochism in Renaissance poetry. In Victorian England—well, there are way too many examples to list them all, so suffice it to say that spanking was a constant focus of Victorian erotica.

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Whip-Happy Pirates

Being captured by scurvy pirates is never a fun scene for pretty young ladies, but these pirates are more whip-happy than most. It’s probably a bit over-confident for Our Heroine not to take seriously her captor’s admonition to “shake that cute dimpled butt!” Don’t forget to click the panels to see them full-sized:

pretty pirate captive fails to apprehend what her whipping is going to be like

pirates whipping three gagged captives with a leather strap

From Pirates by Lesbi K. Leih. (A Dofantasy comic.)

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Tennis Players Punished


So, here’s the setup:

Rosie and Nimue have disgraced themselves at a school tennis tournament, bringing down the reputation of their school. The Headmaster sanctions an unofficial punishment from the coach to be meted out swiftly and without sympathy to the girls.


When I saw this picture, my instant reaction was “You gotta be kidding me. A hand spanking? On those bottoms? Over panties? She’s never gonna get through to the girls at that rate!”


Ah, that’s much better. With bare bottoms and a slipper, we might actually get somewhere:


And indeed, it looks like communication has been achieved!

Pictures are from Northern Spanking.

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Diary Of A Spanked Doll

From The Diary Of A Birthday Doll, by E.C. Dow (1908):


The color plate is by F. E. Nosworthy, illustrating this portion of the text:

All of a sudden I fell flat, over on my side, and bumped my head real hard against the floor. I just had time to catch one glimpse of Teddy, under the bed. He was looking at me very kindly (he has awfully nice brown eyes) and then I heard the slamming of a book, I was caught up roughly, and shaken and shaken.

“You naughty child ! Why don’t you behave ?” cried Mamma Lu, in a very angry voice. ” You’re the worst child I ever had,” and another shake and another and another.

“I’m going to give you a lesson, once for all,” she continued; “I will not have such behavior in my family.”

She reached out for a great big hair-brush that was on a dressing-table near her. “A hair-brush,” I thought, stupidly. Oh! I was all dazed. “What does she want with a hair-brush. My hair must be untidy, and I guess she’s going to comb me.” Yet I trembled.

“I will not have it,” she went on, more and more excited. ” Winnie Campbell knows how to make her children behave. She told me how, to-day, and I’m just going to take her advice.” With a quick movement she laid me over her knee, face downward, rolled up my chemise, raised the hair-brush, and no, no, I cannot repeat the rest, I cannot, cannot.

Maud and Gladys were sobbing softly when she carried me back to bed, and there was a heavy breathing through the room; it might have come from Teddy Bear. I could not say a word. I was bruised and stiff from my ribs to my knees, it was such a large hair-brush, and she had used the bristly side, part of the time, and then the disgrace, the awful shame of being pressed down tight till I couldn’t move, and then publicly spanked with a hair-brush, before Maud and Gladys and Ted and the two sparrows. My heart was broken, yes, my heart was broken. I felt that I could no longer look anyone in the face, so dreadfully had I been disgraced. If it had only been on my shoulder or on my face; anywhere but where it was, and before so many people.

I lay quite still in my misery.

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